Monday, 8 April 2019

Perception And Appearance

Complex organisms are necessary for perception.
However, processes within such organisms impede perception.
Natural selection generated complex organisms.
Social interactions generate self-conscious individuals.
Meditation is necessary to address psychological processes.

Appearance of multiplicity generates consciousness of self and other but prevents realization of unity.
Thus, appearance is necessary for consciousness which is necessary for realization which is prevented by appearance.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Interdependence

Are atoms or souls ontologically independent? No. Everything from subatomic particles to conscious organisms is interdependent. Therefore, "emptiness" (absence of any permanent underlying substance) and monism (oneness) are closer approximations to truth than atomism or soul pluralism.

The independent soul of Jainism and Samkhya-Yoga is a conceptualization of liberated consciousness but with unwarranted implications of immateriality and immortality. Dependent existence is conditional and transient. Particles are created and annihilated in a vacuum. Consciousness depends on complex, sensitive organisms which depend on changing environmental conditions. Therefore, nothing is immortal or indestructible.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Who Drives The Bus?

"'Only the Greatest of all can make Himself small enough to enter Hell. For the higher a thing is, the lower it can descend - a man can sympathise with a horse but a horse cannot sympathise with a rat. Only One has descended into Hell.'"
-CS Lewis, The Great Divorce (London, 1982), p. 114.

So Who drives the bus that transports the Ghosts from the grey town?

Although I do not share Lewis' belief in a hereafter, I note that his belief differs from that of the Evangelicals. The saved are those who have made a right moral choice, not necessarily those who have undergone an Evangelical conversion.

Patanjali And CS Lewis

Sutras
Yoga is control of thoughts.
Then man abides in his real nature.
Otherwise, he remains identified with thoughts.
They are controlled by practice and non-attachment.

For Patanjali, "real nature" was a soul but there are other understandings.

In CS Lewis' The Great Divorce, "Ghosts" can travel by bus from the gray town that is Hell to the foothills of Heaven but often opt to return. One Ghost carries on his shoulder a lizard whispering pleasurable dreams that will require him to return to the town. However, when, with the Ghost's permission, an angel kills the lizard, the Ghost becomes a man and the lizard becomes a horse which the man rides into the mountains.

Lewis' gray town and mountains correspond to Patanjali's thoughts and real nature.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

The Absolute

The Absolute is that which exists independently of any external relationships.
Therefore, it is "all things."
Each "thing" exists as it does only because of its relationships to all other "things."
Thus, only the totality of "things" exists independently.

The Absolute has three aspects:

the visible, tangible universe;
the organisms that see and feel it;
invisible, intangible realities detected and comprehended scientifically.

Thus, the metaphysical view that the Absolute is an invisible, intangible substance permeating and transcending the universe is essentially correct.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Souls Or Selves

A self is a subject of consciousness.
A soul would be an immortal, immaterial self.
The Buddha denied souls, including a universal soul, but not consciousness or a self-conscious universe.
There are "Consciousness Only" Buddhists.
However, mortal selves are psychophysical, not merely psychological.
Each human organism unifies its mental processes with the sense of a single, enduring self.
However, mental processes remain diverse and conflictive.

Friday, 15 February 2019

What Is The Buddha Dharma?

The Buddha Dharma is the Way to the End of Suffering.

If there is no hereafter, then death ends suffering by ending consciousness.

Suicide is self-inflicted death.

However, Buddhists believe that death is followed by rebirth.

Therefore, they try to end suffering by ending rebirth.

So is Buddhist practice just longer term suicide?

That is not what I get from the Dharma.

It is possible to end the psychological cause of suffering while remaining alive.

After he had realized his enlightenment, the Buddha continued to live, meditate and teach for several decades.

The point of the Dharma is the period between beginning practice and physically dying.

There is no point in seeking unconsciousness which I believe will come at death.