Author Topic: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV  (Read 3527 times)

rachmiel

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Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« on: December 04, 2012, 11:45:00 PM »
Dr. Sadananda,

In Part IV - Belief that we are Mortal, Unhappy and Ignorant of your Introduction to Vedanta you wrote:

"Krishna is emphatic in stating the law of Nature: ‘that which has a beginning has an end or that which is born has to die and that which dies has to be born again’".

I don't understand the logic here. Why couldn't something begin now, and be (from now on) endless? Likewise, why couldn't something be born now, and be (from now on) immortal, never die? Are these assertions in the realm of rational logic, or in a different realm entirely?

Thank you,

rachMiel

Dr. Sadananda

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 10:32:58 AM »
rachMiel - PraNAms

First let us be clear about logic itself. Logic depends on the data. From science point one can make logical theories but those have no meaning until there is experimental data to support. Hence science depends on deductive or inductive logic – both based on observations.

In our experience that which has beginning always has an end. This is an experimental fact. Some may take a long time – but everything in this world undergoes a change and change involves end of previous and beginning of the next – world Involves continuous change – hence it is called jagat – jaayate gachchate iti – that which coming and going or changing continuously.

Experiential Worlds change as the states waking, dream and deep sleep state change. Time itself is concept based on change only. If nothing changes the concept of time and hence space also disappear as in deep sleep state. Hence anything that has beginning must have end in this transactional world. Change of waking world to dream world to deep sleep world is direct examples. Krishna’s statement relates to the transactional world – called in Vedanta – vyaavahaarika satyam. It is also true that if something is changing there has to be a changeless entity that supports all the changes, forming its essential truth.  The changing things are called mityaa or transactionally real but not absolutely real since later is defined as that which never undergoes any change.

There is only one thing that has no beginning but end as per Vedanta, and that is ignorance. Ignorance cannot have beginning but can end when knowledge takes place. This is also our experience or observation. My beginning-less ignorance of Chemistry is gone when I learned Chemistry. Any discovery involves removing cover of ignorance that is covering the knowledge which is eternal.

We do not have any semi-infinite things with one end noticeable while the other end unlimited. If you know if something exists let us know. Someone came to me once and told me that if I do not believe in Jesus I will go to eternal hell. On the other hand if I start believing in Jesus I will have eternal heaven. When I asked why was he born and what was he in his last life and whether he believed in Jesus or not in his last life, he said he had no last life. Here is a case where life started with this life and he expects eternal life after death – heaven for him and hell for me. It is a semi-infinite model. His explanation was that He is born because someone else eat apple against God’s will.

Hence logically which itself is based observationally that which has beginning must have an end. Epistemologically, any observation involves only finites and not infinites. Any observation is limited by observer, the observed and the process of observation – called triad.  By mutual exclusion each limits the other. Infinite – space wise, timewise or object wise, cannot be observed. Only that fits in the category of limitless is the consciousness that I am.
Hope this helps.
Hari Om!
Sada

rachmiel

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 09:46:30 AM »
Thanks for your thorough response, Dr. Sadananda. :-)

Quote
In our experience that which has beginning always has an end.

What if we witness an underwater volcano give rise to an island? We experience the beginning of the island, but we cannot experience its end; we can only speculate.

Quote
This is an experimental fact. Some may take a long time – but everything in this world undergoes a change and change involves end of previous and beginning of the next – world Involves continuous change – hence it is called jagat – jaayate gachchate iti – that which coming and going or changing continuously.

Experiential Worlds change as the states waking, dream and deep sleep state change. Time itself is concept based on change only. If nothing changes the concept of time and hence space also disappear as in deep sleep state. Hence anything that has beginning must have end in this transactional world. Change of waking world to dream world to deep sleep world is direct examples. Krishna’s statement relates to the transactional world – called in Vedanta – vyaavahaarika satyam.

This makes sense to me. Everything in vyaavahaarika satyam is continuously changing, and change by definition is the ending of one state, and the beginning of the next. Thus everything in vyaavahaarika satyam has a beginning and an end*. With two possible exceptions: (1) the first state in the "sequence" (2) and the last.

* This, of course, does not address that which is not in/of vyaavahaarika satyam.

Quote
It is also true that if something is changing there has to be a changeless entity that supports all the changes, forming its essential truth.

In Einstein's relativistic way of looking at the world, all frames of reference are moving (changing), *and* all frames are moving with respect to one another, except for those that are moving at the exact same speed in the exact same direction. I.e. you don't need a motionless frame to support motion in other frames.

Why couldn't ultimate reality work like this: A set of frames, all changing, no ultimate reference point?

Quote
The changing things are called mityaa or transactionally real but not absolutely real since later is defined as that which never undergoes any change.

There is only one thing that has no beginning but end as per Vedanta, and that is ignorance. Ignorance cannot have beginning but can end when knowledge takes place. This is also our experience or observation. My beginning-less ignorance of Chemistry is gone when I learned Chemistry. Any discovery involves removing cover of ignorance that is covering the knowledge which is eternal.

We do not have any semi-infinite things with one end noticeable while the other end unlimited. If you know if something exists let us know.

I don't. Indeed, how could I? I would have to either: (1) be there at the point in time when the thing arose and remain with it forever; or (2) have been with the thing since forever and remain with it all the way up to the point when it ended.

Similarly, I can never know, in an empircal/experiential way, if there is anything with no beginning and no ending. Or anything that is changeless.

Quote
Hence logically which itself is based observationally that which has beginning must have an end.

I still don't see the logic behind this assertion as 100% convincing, for the reasons mentioned above.

Quote
Epistemologically, any observation involves only finites and not infinites. Any observation is limited by observer, the observed and the process of observation – called triad.  By mutual exclusion each limits the other. Infinite – space wise, timewise or object wise, cannot be observed.

Yes.

Quote
Only that fits in the category of limitless is the consciousness that I am.

And that's the leap "of faith" that I cannot (yet) make.

Thank you. :-)

rachMiel



Dr. Sadananda

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 06:37:33 PM »
rachMiel:
What if we witness an underwater volcano give rise to an island? We experience the beginning of the island, but we cannot experience its end; we can only speculate.

Sada: rachMiel – whatever we witness is finite – we cannot witness infinite. Even speculation is based on what we have witnessed in the past as the thumb of rule. Any thing perceived via senses and the mind is limited. Infinite cannot be perceived – says scriptures and say our experience too. This topic is infact will be covered in the Kathopanishat class this Sunday – EST 6:30-8:0PM. The five sense can only perceive the attributes that differentiate one object from the other. The subject I or the consciousness that I am is imperceptible- however self-evident. This is where deeper thinking is required.
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rachMiel:
This makes sense to me. Everything in vyaavahaarika satyam is continuously changing, and change by definition is the ending of one state, and the beginning of the next. Thus everything in vyaavahaarika satyam has a beginning and an end*. With two possible exceptions: (1) the first state in the "sequence" (2) and the last.

* This, of course, does not address that which is not in/of vyaavahaarika satyam.

Sada: Yes. Perceptions, logic,  and all means of knowledge (pramANas) operate only in vyavahaara – the absolute truth – paaramaarthika – is imperceptible and unknowable (as an object of knowledge) – since it is infinite and since it is the very subject which cannot be objectified.
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rachMiel:
In Einstein's relativistic way of looking at the world, all frames of reference are moving (changing), *and* all frames are moving with respect to one another, except for those that are moving at the exact same speed in the exact same direction. I.e. you don't need a motionless frame to support motion in other frames.

Why couldn't ultimate reality work like this: A set of frames, all changing, no ultimate reference point?

Sada: Not possible. For one thing -Who is the knower of these changes if the changes are occurring? That what scriptures call as consciousness. There has to be substratum where the changes are occurring – that what scriptures call as existence. Existence is conserved in all changes.

 Einstein’s analysis is incomplete. Relative movements have to be measured with respect to a reference which is immovable. The observer- the conscious entity is required to observe the relative movement. Without the conscious entity present – the existence of inert entity is indeterminate. Please think it over. 
I don't. Indeed, how could I? I would have to either: (1) be there at the point in time when the thing arose and remain with it forever; or (2) have been with the thing since forever and remain with it all the way up to the point when it ended.
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rachMiel:
Similarly, I can never know, in an empirical/experiential way, if there is anything with no beginning and no ending. Or anything that is changeless.

Sada: Yes Indeed – In your deep-sleep state – there is no time and space. Yet you are there – as witnessing consciousness – witnessing the absence of everything, since observation requires the mind which is folded in the deep-sleep state. In the morning I say, I slept very well – I was there to sleep very well. However, I have no knowledge of anything – including my presence.
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richMiel:
I still don't see the logic behind this assertion as 100% convincing, for the reasons mentioned above.

Sada: The above reasons have no experimental basis to support your logic. Logic as stated before rests on experimental observations for validation. Indian logic or tarkashaatra – has been extensively developed – the so-called new logic – Navya Nyaaya- was developed in 11th century
----
rachMiel:
And that's the leap "of faith" that I cannot (yet) make.

Sada: You existence is not faith but fact. No logic no scripture, no means of knowledge is required for you to know that you exist and you are conscious entity. To establish existence of anything else, including logic, your presence is a pre-requisite. There is only one thing in the universe that is self-existing and self-conscious entity is you not as Body, mind and intellect – but you as a conscious –existent entity. Everything else is an object of your knowledge including your body, mind and intellect and of course all the world of objects.
Vedanta is not faith based but fact based- just as existence of gravitational force is a fact not a faith-based. Vedanta points out to the fact as you are eternal-infinite and limitless or happiness – for that one has to investigate the validity of Vedantic statements – it is like a mirror showing you what you really are than what you THINK you are!
This is the reason why scripture insists that seeker to approach a teacher who knows the scriptures and not to come to it directly since what is being pointed out is not an object reality but that which pervades both the subject and the object.
Think about it.
Hari Om!
Sada

rachmiel

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 10:47:42 AM »
Thanks for the response, Dr. Sadananda. Please see my comments below. They're in bold, so you can find them easily. 

rachMiel

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Sada:

This topic is infact will be covered in the Kathopanishat class this Sunday – EST 6:30-8:0PM.

rachMiel:

Is this an online class that the public can attend?

----------------------------------------

rachMiel:

In Einstein's relativistic way of looking at the world, all frames of reference are moving (changing), *and* all frames are moving with respect to one another, except for those that are moving at the exact same speed in the exact same direction. I.e. you don't need a motionless frame to support motion in other frames. / Why couldn't ultimate reality work like this: A set of frames, all changing, no ultimate reference point?

Sada:

Not possible. For one thing - Who is the knower of these changes if the changes are occurring?

rachMiel:

1. Why does there need to be a knower of these changes? Because "change" is a concept that presupposes a knower? I.e., without a knower, there is not change, there simply IS?

2. Why can't the knower also be changing?


-----

Sada:

That what scriptures call as consciousness. There has to be substratum where the changes are occurring – that what scriptures call as existence. Existence is conserved in all changes.

rachMiel:

I don't understand this. Could you either explain in more depth or – to save you the time/effort – provide a link to something online that will help me understand?

-----

Sada:

Einstein’s analysis is incomplete. Relative movements have to be measured with respect to a reference which is immovable. The observer- the conscious entity is required to observe the relative movement. Without the conscious entity present – the existence of inert entity is indeterminate. Please think it over.

rachMiel:

I am. :-)

----------------------------------------

rachMiel:

And that's the leap "of faith" that I cannot (yet) make.

Sada:

You existence is not faith but fact. No logic no scripture, no means of knowledge is required for you to know that you exist and you are conscious entity.

rachMiel:

I see it somewhat differently.

The only thing that this mind (that is called rachMiel) can know, with utter certainty, is its sensations, thoughts, feelings, emotions: light/dim/color, happy, sad, etc.

Does this mean something exists? That cannot be known. Does it mean "I" exist? That cannot be known either. All that can be known right now by this mind is letters appearing on a computer screen, keys being pressed, thoughts governing the pressing of this keys, etc.

To say "I exist" is a double abstraction: I (what is that?) and exist (what is that?).

Am I making this clear? It's not nitpicking for me, it's huge. I truly feel that one cannot know, with utter certainty, that "I am." All one can know with utter certainty is: sensations, thoughts, feelings, emotions. Perhaps that is what you are calling "I am" knowledge?


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rachmiel

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 10:55:54 AM »
Sada:

Einstein’s analysis is incomplete. Relative movements have to be measured with respect to a reference which is immovable. The observer- the conscious entity is required to observe the relative movement. Without the conscious entity present – the existence of inert entity is indeterminate. Please think it over.

rachMiel:

I emailed a scientist friend who is knowledgeable about relativity theory, and asked him whether the assertion "Relative movements have to be measured with respect to a reference which is immovable" was correct, within the framework of Einsteinian relativity. Here is his response:

"The whole point of the special theory of relativity is that there is no '... reference which is immovable.' All (unaccelerated) frames of motion are equivalent, none is preferred... none is 'immovable.'

"It sounds like he [Dr. Sadananda] is recalling the discredited Ether theory."

Please clarify. :-)  

Thanks,

rachMiel
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 11:01:01 AM by rachmiel »

Dr. Sadananda

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 01:37:40 PM »
rachMiel -
My statements are based not on the discredited either theory – but on an independent observer who forms an absolute reference. I am not taking about God here which is belief system but I am talking you, or the subject I am – who is the witnessing consciousness.
It is the observer, a conscious entity, required to make observations of relative frames of references. Einstein cannot account in his frame a conscious entity, observer who is independent of the reference states. For him the observer is fixed to the reference frame and the observer in each reference is relative too. He has no independent observer in his system. That is true in the objective world. The problem in this is – it ignores the fact that conscious entity cannot become an observed entity. Observer is not an object for observation since conscious entity cannot become an object for observation. When I look at other people, what I can observe is only BMI – body, mind and intellect – not the consciousness. Even the MI I have to deduce based on his speech and activities. Hence in deep sleep state when I fold my mind, I am folding the whole world of so called relative – but in a frame of reference beyond any relative – hence there is no space and time in deep sleep state – yet It is an independent reference state since I say I slept very well – I was there to sleep very well – I say there was nothing there – as there is no space, time – only observation of nothingness or absence of EVERYTHING.  I am witnessing the absence of every relative frame. The witnessing consciousness that I am is an independent of any reference state. Einstein cannot address that with the tools he has since his tools are not valid for absolute frame of reference as they are relative.  We call the absolute reference as witnessing consciousness – and you are that says Vedanta. Witnessing consciousness cannot become witnessed object. Subject cannot become an object since consciousness cannot be object for observation.  You can mention to your friend about the Schrodinger’s cat problem discussed in the physics – where without the conscious entity the problem does not reduce to a deterministic problem from a probabilistic solution.
Hope this helps
Sada


Hari Om!
Sada


rachmiel

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 04:42:01 PM »
Thank you. Processing ... :-)

rachmiel

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 08:28:57 PM »
Okay, I think I understand.

Einstein's worldview is incomplete, because it does not allow for the witnessing consciousness (= Self = brahman). When Self enters the equation, the playing board changes radically.

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 04:35:02 PM »
rachMiel, PraNAms

This is true for all phenomenal world of plurality what Vedanta calls as vyaavahaarika satyam - or transactional reality. The objective sciences can only analyze the objectifiable entities - that includes the latest so-called God Particle. What the objective sciences cannot analyze is the subject, the conscious entity. At the most psychologists examine what is the mind and its mood and talk about conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious minds - Vedanta goes even deeper and talks about vaasanaas the impressions that are left behind by every egotistical action which makes one to repeat or avoid the action again. Vaasanaas due to karma or actions become the basis for re-birth too. The analysis of the total - subject and the object is what is involved in Vedanta and hence it is more complete science. Similarly most of the philosophies only look into the waking world and make theories, while Vedanta address complete human experience as data - that includes waking, dream and deep sleep states and examines from the total perspective - who is the subject I and what is the object this where this includes everything that I can objectify including Einsteinian models and other phenomenal world of plurality and the relationships between the subject I and the object this.

Hari Om!
Sada

rachmiel

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Re: Question about Introduction to Vedanta, Part IV
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 06:59:15 PM »
> This is true for all phenomenal world of plurality what Vedanta calls as vyaavahaarika satyam - or transactional reality. The objective sciences can only analyze the objectifiable entities - that includes the latest so-called God Particle. What the objective sciences cannot analyze is the subject, the conscious entity.

Wouldn't most scientists say that, since the objectifiable entities are measurable/detectable, they are empirically real, and since the subject (consciousness) is not measurable/detectable, it is pure speculation, therefore not in the realm of science and scientific analysis/research?

I ask this not because it is my opinion, but because I'm interested in knowing whether you, a man of science, agree that most of your science colleagues feel this way.

Thank you.

rachMiel