Seth

Questions about levels of consciousness

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@RMQualtrough Thanks for responding.  

I hear what you're saying, and I'm not arguing, but just to offer an alternative perspective on that: technically, whatever you're able to "find" must by definition have a form, even if that form is described as blankness/voidness.  In other words, if you can become aware of it as an object, then it isn't formless.  From a Vedantic perspective, you can't find yourself as an object/form, but rather you can realize yourself to be the formless subject within which all objects/forms appear.  Appearances can be extremely subtle, even the blankness of deep sleep is a kind of subtle form recognized in Vedanta.  From this stance, all states, including the most radical mystical states are a particular appearing form.

So, if by "finding yourself" you mean you realized the true nature of what you are, then fair enough, but if you mean that you found an object which you are calling "I" then Vedanta would suggest you only found another appearance, and appearances are "not I."

Maybe I could ask you, would you not prefer the language of saying: in these heightened states, you realized your true nature to be formless.  As opposed to you found something which is formless?

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On 5/22/2022 at 7:01 AM, RMQualtrough said:

Well if you didn't know that it's literally nothing and not something. If the word awareness was literally just referred to as nothing, people might not apply substance to it.

You can't have something outside anything with no limit whatsoever, it's not possible, and the only thing without limit is nothingness. Actual. Legit. Nothingness. Not "no-thing" I dno why they do that... Just nothing.

I don't know whether I understand everything you wrote.

Are you saying this right here is literal legit Nothingness?

I would say it is something. 

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@Arugoel I meant you find that it's what you ARE. So not what you're seeing etc.

@GreenWoods You yourself are nothingness. I don't know how to best showcase, but obv you know if you go blind you remain, because sight was an appearance. If you lost your arms you remain because the feeling of having arms etc was an appearance and not fundamentally you.

This works to literal nothingness. Anything that is anything is like that, it's something you are aware of. It's not what you call "I". You can find that you are nothingness. Srs. This isn't shit I read in a book or saw on YouTube, it happened to me first hand tripping. And this fact was not something that was a crackpot trippy theory, it was undeniably true. Like if you imagine a scientist trying to tell you that you aren't conscious, it's the type of fact that is self evident exactly like knowing you're aware is known without needing theories or science to examine it.

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16 hours ago, Arugoel said:

@Leo Gura I’ve been following your conversation with @Shambhu and it seems that your core disagreement is about whether or not the Absolute is immutable.

As you know, Shambhu is taking the traditional Advaita Vedantic perspective in which Brahman alone exists and all aspects of experience (i.e., changing form) are considered an appearance (including the highest, most profound mystical experiences).

As a quick aside, several people seem to be wondering how this view doesn’t imply a duality.  The answer is easy to understand though.  From the Vedantic stance, appearances do not have ontological merit (which essentially means they aren’t real).  However, in Vedanta, appearances are referred to as Mithya which is a term indicating a special classification which is neither real nor unreal.  It may sound confusing at first, but actually it’s fairly simple.  Appearances aren’t real in the sense that they don’t have stand-alone, independent existence.  But they are real in the sense that they are experienced (obviously no one can deny that forms are experienced).  This is similar to waking from a dream and declaring the dream appearance as unreal despite having been experienced.  Therefore, the seeming duality falls away when you consider form to be an illusory appearance.  Also, since the only changes available for inspection are the changing forms, then the entire notion of change (including time and causation) are declared illusory right along with the appearing changing forms themselves.  Although it may seem ridiculously counterintuitive, from a Vedantic perspective, nothing has ever truly happened (appearances notwithstanding).  

I’m not claiming the above to be true, I have no claim to awakening, and I don’t claim to have any knowledge of anything.  I have no dog in this fight, I’m just asking the following with curiosity:  

Regardless of whether or not you feel my above explanation is accurate, is it the case that you deny the validity of Advaita Vedanta as expounded by Adi Shankaracharya?  You think the notion of the Absolute (or any aspect of reality for that matter) as immutable is mistaken?  

Rather, is your understanding that the Absolute “shape-shifts” into the form of experiential qualities, and therefore because the experience of form changes, you then tie this change to the Absolute, is that correct?  In other words, you would perhaps metaphorically see the Absolute as a field, and experiential forms as the excitations of that field, thus giving equal ontological status to both the formless substratum and the appearing forms?

Thanks.

All form and experience is Absolute. It's that simple. Brahman is everything.

This discussion is ridiculous.


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

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@RMQualtrough Would you not find it more clearly stated to simply say you are "that which isn't an object?"  As opposed to saying you are "literal nothingness."  Because literal nothingness wouldn't allow for the consciousness you later stated was undeniable, would it?  Is it not reasonable to say that the very fact that we are having an experience is proof that reality is not literally nothing?  Appearances may be illusory, but if reality were literally nothing, then appearances wouldn't appear, no?

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@Leo Gura Fair enough, but for clarity sake, you may consider avoiding the term Brahman, for you aren't using it in line with the traditional meaning.  In order to use it authentically you have to specify that form/experience is an illusory appearance and thus does not receive the same ontological merit as Brahman.  This is a distinction without a separation, just as you can distinguish a pot from the clay used to form the pot.  However, the distinction is important, because the form called "pot" doesn't have the same ontological merit as the clay that pervades the form (as in you can smash the pot but the clay remains).  You don't find this distinction important?

Again, I'm not making any claim as to what is true, nor am I suggesting you're wrong.  I'm simply asking you about the language you choose to use.  Given the fact that you speak regularly on these topics, surely it's not ridiculous to occasionally ask you for clarification.  Regardless, I do appreciate whatever response you're willing to offer.  Thanks.      

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3 hours ago, Arugoel said:

@Leo Gura Fair enough, but for clarity sake, you may consider avoiding the term Brahman, for you aren't using it in line with the traditional meaning.  In order to use it authentically you have to specify that form/experience is an illusory appearance and thus does not receive the same ontological merit as Brahman.

Haha, this is absurd.

Brahman is God. You are God. Everything is God. Simple.

You can't understand what God is until you awaken to it. All your readings will be insufficient.


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

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@Leo Gura Ok, so then you do in fact deny the validity of Advaita Vedanta.  Very good, that's all I wanted to clarify.  Personally I don't care either which way, I'm not advocating for a particular view here.  I'm just wondering why you use their terminology if you don't recognize their teachings as credible.  Seems to me an odd way of going about things, but so be it.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Arugoel said:

@RMQualtrough Would you not find it more clearly stated to simply say you are "that which isn't an object?"  As opposed to saying you are "literal nothingness."  Because literal nothingness wouldn't allow for the consciousness you later stated was undeniable, would it?  Is it not reasonable to say that the very fact that we are having an experience is proof that reality is not literally nothing?  Appearances may be illusory, but if reality were literally nothing, then appearances wouldn't appear, no?

No def not, that would actually point away from what it is. Because it IS literally nothing. Hence nothing is the right word. Consciousness isolate by itself (when you refer to "I") IS literal, absolute, total, nothingness. That's what it is.

Related would be something like Sunyata or emptiness. What you fundamentally absolutely are is literal nothingness. That is what is undeniable, and that IS consciousness. Nothingness IS consciousness. Literally is it. When you say I meaning consciousness, you are referring to nothingness. It's not a non-object or no-thing. It's nothing.

And the appearances are limited forms in it, substantially themselves not "made of" anything (and if not made of anything, then they must be made of...... nothing. Which is the exact same thing as consciousness and the words could be used interchangeably). Like an illusory wall after illusory wall, where you can pass your hand through and NEVER reach a solid... The existence of these limited forms I surely suppose is the natural consequence of something entirely unlimited AKA nothingness. It is only logical.

Edited by RMQualtrough

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2 hours ago, Arugoel said:

@Leo Gura Ok, so then you do in fact deny the validity of Advaita Vedanta.  Very good, that's all I wanted to clarify.  Personally I don't care either which way, I'm not advocating for a particular view here.  I'm just wondering why you use their terminology if you don't recognize their teachings as credible.  Seems to me an odd way of going about things, but so be it.

You do not understand Advaita Vedanta.


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

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8 hours ago, Arugoel said:

@RMQualtrough Would you not find it more clearly stated to simply say you are "that which isn't an object?"  As opposed to saying you are "literal nothingness."  Because literal nothingness wouldn't allow for the consciousness you later stated was undeniable, would it?  Is it not reasonable to say that the very fact that we are having an experience is proof that reality is not literally nothing?  Appearances may be illusory, but if reality were literally nothing, then appearances wouldn't appear, no?

That which isn't an object but that which is all objects. Or rather there isn't objects. Objects are distinctions made by thought. All there is is consciousness.

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@Leo Gura Ok, that could be.  But, why are you being so vague?  So, now you're implying that you do recognize the validity of Advaita Vedanta?  If that's the case, then can you please explain your understanding of Satya and Mithya as it pertains to Advaita Vedanta?  Teach us the correct understanding then.  You can't simply dodge the question here with your usual antics (i.e., "you're not awake" etc.), because Advaita Vedanta doesn't do that kind of non-sense, they actually teach students correct understanding in language and allow questions until all misunderstandings are resolved.  So, go ahead, demonstrate your superior understanding, and show precisely how I (and @Shambhu) misrepresented the teachings.  Anything short of that will only reveal that it is you that does not understand Advaita Vedanta.  I call your bluff.

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8 hours ago, Arugoel said:

show precisely how I (and @Shambhu) misrepresented the teachings.  Anything short of that will only reveal that it is you that does not understand Advaita Vedanta.  I call your bluff.

Have you read what I read to @Shambhu?

I explain why that is a subtle form of separation. 

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10 hours ago, Arugoel said:

@Leo Gura Ok, that could be.  But, why are you being so vague?  So, now you're implying that you do recognize the validity of Advaita Vedanta?  If that's the case, then can you please explain your understanding of Satya and Mithya as it pertains to Advaita Vedanta?  Teach us the correct understanding then.  You can't simply dodge the question here with your usual antics (i.e., "you're not awake" etc.), because Advaita Vedanta doesn't do that kind of non-sense, they actually teach students correct understanding in language and allow questions until all misunderstandings are resolved.  So, go ahead, demonstrate your superior understanding, and show precisely how I (and @Shambhu) misrepresented the teachings.  Anything short of that will only reveal that it is you that does not understand Advaita Vedanta.  I call your bluff.

You and @Shambhu's mind is not actually open enough to comprehend the depth of what I have to teach. You're not going to like that answer, but that's our situation, so the conversation must end here.

You are God imagining all of religion, including Vedanta.


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

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@Leo Gura On topic: Have you read "The Mysterious Stranger" by Mark Twain. What did you think of it?

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13 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

You and @Shambhu's mind is not actually open enough to comprehend the depth of what I have to teach. You're not going to like that answer, but that's our situation, so the conversation must end here.

@Leo Gura In all honestly Leo I don't mind that answer, and I'm not suggesting that you're wrong.  I acknowledge that there is significant depth to what you have to teach, that's why I'm participating on your forum and asking you questions.  I'm not trying to bother you.  If I didn't have respect for you, I wouldn't be here.  Despite what you may think, I bet I've spent as much time listening to and contemplating your videos (at least within the time since I discovered you) as anyone else here.  

But, you must admit that what you've said thus far doesn't demonstrate that you have a superior understanding of Advaita Vedanta, or any understanding whatsoever.  Nor does it settle precisely how you think I'm misrepresenting the teachings.  My questions to you are not rhetorical, and they are not presented in bad faith.  I'm a genuine person asking you genuine questions, and although you make it unbelievably difficult to have a mature/productive conversation, I'm willing to put that aside to see what I might learn.  I'm more open-minded than you may think.  You must at minimum concede that you know very little about me, and yet assume so much.  Aren't you the guy with the video on how assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups?

So, if you're unwilling to address my questions then so be it, but if you change your mind and feel up for the challenge of actually bringing some rigor to your criticisms of how I and/or Shambhu have misunderstood the true Advaita Vedanta, then I'm all ears, and I'll gladly open my mind to what you have to say.  That is a promise.

Furthermore, it's not like Vedanta is just one teaching.  There are many schools, many ways of thought, many lines of argumentation, and many interpretations.  The notion of immutability comes from the Vivartavada and Ajatavada theories.  Not all schools of Vedanta adhere to this way of thought, and although there are many schools of Advaita Vedanta, you will typically find agreement amongst Advaitins regarding Brahman as immutable.  

It sounds to me that you may resonate more with the Parinamavada, which is the notion that the world is a real transformation (Parinama) of Brahman.  Where as in contrast, Vivartavata is the notion that the world is merely an unreal manifestation (Vivarta) of Brahman.  Vivartavada states that although Brahman appears to undergo a transformation, no real change takes place.  The myriad of beings are unreal manifestation, as the only real being is Brahman, that ultimate reality which is unborn, unchanging, and entirely without parts.  Ajatavada is similar but slightly more radical, and is favored by the Neo-Advaitins.  This is where they get the idea that nothing ever happened.  It was famously expounded by Gaudapada (Shankara's guru's guru) in his Karika on Mandukya Upanishad.

Ok, will you consider a healthy discussion with me?  I'd be very grateful.  I assure you, I'm not looking for an argument here.  I have no interest in lecturing you, on the contrary, I'm asking you to lecture me.  What is your precise understanding of Advaita Vedanta?  And how does it relate and/or contrast to what you've discovered directly via awakening?  This is what I want to ask you.

Thanks for your consideration.

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On 5/24/2022 at 1:47 AM, RMQualtrough said:

@GreenWoods You yourself are nothingness. I don't know how to best showcase, but obv you know if you go blind you remain, because sight was an appearance. If you lost your arms you remain because the feeling of having arms etc was an appearance and not fundamentally you.

This works to literal nothingness. Anything that is anything is like that, it's something you are aware of. It's not what you call "I". You can find that you are nothingness. Srs. This isn't shit I read in a book or saw on YouTube, it happened to me first hand tripping. And this fact was not something that was a crackpot trippy theory, it was undeniably true. Like if you imagine a scientist trying to tell you that you aren't conscious, it's the type of fact that is self evident exactly like knowing you're aware is known without needing theories or science to examine it.

What you call Nothingness, I would still call something. 

If it were literal Nothingness, it would be non-existence.

Either we just label the same 'thing' differently or you have a potentially deeper understanding than me, an understanding which doesn't make sense to me lol.

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@WelcometoReality Yes, I read your posts and respect your position.  Thank you for offering your view, I felt you were clear and articulate.  It's worth considering what Shambhu was saying too.  When understood correctly, there is no subtle separation, or any separation for that matter.  Similar to how a pot cannot be separated from the clay that was used to form the pot.  Nonetheless, a distinction can be made in one's understanding between the form and the substance that pervades the form.  As such, non-duality insofar as it pertains to Advaita Vedanta is with regard to ontology, but this doesn't mean that it's invalid or without reason to draw certain distinctions in one's understanding.

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2 hours ago, GreenWoods said:

What you call Nothingness, I would still call something. 

If it were literal Nothingness, it would be non-existence.

Either we just label the same 'thing' differently or you have a potentially deeper understanding than me, an understanding which doesn't make sense to me lol.

It's not a something. Consider this... You have eyes, everything you could ever possibly see is in front of your eyes. You can never get behind your eyes. Your eyes we know are "somethings" because we can find them as objects, e.g. you can touch them (srs, it feels weird to do but used to do it as kids to freak each other out lolz), or see them in a mirror, dissect them etc.

Things in your mind as you may know are themselves not made of "things", they are mirages, so if you imagine a castle in a dream, that castle is not really there made out of stones and elemental particles (etc). It's all a mirage.

In your mind you have something like your eyes, except never observerable and never graspable, you can only "be it", and you are it and you call it "I". Everything that you are ever aware of is, like what you see with your eyes, appearing to it. If it is an object in any way whatsoever, it is something appearing to awareness. Awareness isolated by itself is never something. If it was something, it would have a quality to it, and you could observe it. And if you could observe it, it would be appearing to you, so could not then be it as the "I" would then be farther behind it, and it always regresses and hides farther back behind anything that ever becomes an object of awareness...... You can never see your mind-eye with your mind-eye, like you can't see your physical eyes with your physical eyes, or touch your fingertip with the same fingertip.

When you experience BEING it, which is the only way to know that nothingness, you will definitely understand that what you are is absolutely nothing. You mever observe it, you are it. ALL things that could ever even conceivably be observed are not what I'm talking about. Your true self is the ONLY thing that in no way could be observed. You can be it and that's it... And via the knowing of somethings, recognize that the thing which knows that something is, literally, NOTHING. Nonexistence. What you refer to as your consciousness and nonexistence are the same..... Interchangeable terms. Nothingness exists and it's you. Weird huh?

Do you get it?

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