November 14, 2021 at 11:47 pm #13630
Hello again. Some time ago I spoke with a friend who was well versed in philosophy, he was a Jesuit and a Buddhist. I don’t like the way he sees philosophy. One day we started a conversation (about vedanta) and he told me that he was about to reach enlightenment. In the end, his conclusion was that there were only 3 states: watch, sleep and deep sleep, and that the fundamental thing in reality was deep sleep, that there was no other fourth state because in deep sleep there is neither object nor subject and therefore so much everything has already been overcome. He quoted Shri Atmananda to me, who thinks that the most important thing in life is deep sleep. My friend told me that that was it and that I could now spend my time playing an instrument or learning mathematics, for example, that those things of “samaddhi” and yoga were not necessary, just by sleeping you enter the supreme state. Obviously he told me that after he died there was an eternal deep sleep, he even told me that suicide was a moment of lucidity because you entered that state of Supreme Bliss that is the deep ground! I see this as outrageous, firstly because it doesn’t suit me (perhaps for fear of death), but also because I want to live dancing and not sleeping … How would you respond to this friend? How would you tell him that the most fundamental thing in existence is not the unconsciousness of deep sleep? He always tells me that there is no more, because in deep sleep there is no distinction and you have already overcome everything. My heart does not resonate with this.November 15, 2021 at 6:11 am #13631Ashish DalelaKeymaster
In the material condition, our consciousness is like a screen and matter is like a projector, which projects sensations, thoughts, judgments, intentions, and morals on this screen. The soul has a choice by which it can desire something different, and the projector will sometimes project what you want. However, even if the projector projects what you want, you are not in control; the control is with the projector because there are situations in which the projector will project things that you don’t want. That same idea of projector and screen can be used to understand deep sleep. Sometimes, due to the effect of time, the projector switches off temporarily. Then you enter deep sleep. But this too is based on a desire and its fulfillment. You might think it will be permanent but it is not. The switch-off is temporary.
When it is switched on again, then the dreaming or waking experiences are created again. So, deep sleep is not a permanent state, although it can exist for a long time. For example, when the universe is periodically annihilated, then all the souls who were previously in dreaming, waking, or deep sleep previously in the universe enter deep sleep. This period lasts about 311 trillion years and is described in Vedic cosmology. After this, however, there is recreation, which lasts the same duration. So, one can say that the thing that lasts much longer is superior to those things that last shorter. But since it is not eternal, therefore, it is not ultimate.
We have to understand that just as hunger arises on its own, similarly, sleepiness also arises on its own. Thoughts arise on their own, desires arise on their own, and once a person is sleeping, he also wakes up on his own (or will be woken up by something–e.g., his own hunger). So the intelligent person should ask: I am not causing these things, I am not aware of how they are happening, I may not even want some of these things to happen, but they happen anyway. Why? And the answer is: The soul is under the control of material energy, which is like a projector, working under the control of time. Based on time (and the habits and consequences of previous actions), the projector projects different things on the screen, and sometimes it switches off. But when it was switched on, you were not in control; so, when it switches off, you are still not in control. Just as you are helpless against hunger, thirst, desire, sleepiness, and thought, likewise, you are also helpless in waking up from sleep. You may want to go to sleep, and nature will fulfill that desire for some time, just like nature is fulfilling other desires. But you are at the mercy of nature.
The soul is a mule in this world, bound by a rope, which is pulled by the master of the mule. While the mule is awake, he has to carry weights, and nature projects the experience of carrying the weight, the feeling of tiredness, and the desire to sleep. To fullfill that desire to rest, nature kindly removes the projection of burden and tiredness. And, the mule might say: This is really nice; I was carrying a burden earlier, and now I’m sleeping peacefully. He doesn’t know that he is still a mule, still tied by the rope, and still under the control of the master. That master will eventually wake up the mule, saddle him with burdens, and force him to carry them.
Buddhists have false ideas about the body and mind. They think: I am controlling my body and mind. So if I put the body or mind into sleep, then I can avoid being a mule. The pragmatic question for them is: If you are controlling the body, then can you explain how food is being digested without your knowledge? Can you explain how blood is automatically circulated? Can you explain how hunger automatically arises? Can you explain how thoughts automatically arise in the mind–even if you want to stop them? The fact is that we are not in control of our life situations. Nature is controlling us, but we like to imagine that we are masters rather than mules.
When a Buddhist meditates on some sound or object in order to silence his mind, then nature fulfills that desire for some time, just like a mule’s master allows the mule to sleep for some time after having carried burdens for a long time. But instead of thanking the master who has allowed the mule some rest, the mule might say: “Now I am in control of my mind”. And so if I want, I can sleep permanently. But ask them how things were happening beforehand. If they were out of their control earlier, then how is sleep in your control? The same principle has to explain both.
There are many arrogant philosophies. One type of arrogance says: I can conquer the world with my power. Another type of arrogance says: I am capable of going to sleep permanently by my meditation. Yet another arrogance says: I can become omniscient by my meditation. All these arrogant philosophies are crushed by time. The person trying to conquer the world is crushed by forcing losses upon him. The person trying to sleep endlessly is crushed by forcing him to wake up. And the person trying to become omniscient is crushed by forcing him into ignorance. This is because nature is fully in control, and its purpose is to destroy your arrogance. Whether you like it or not, it will show you how you are just a mule tied by a rope.
The rope becomes slightly loose, and the person goes to sleep. Then the rope is slightly tightened, the person is forced to wake up. Then when the rope is pulled, the person carries the burden. However, the mule tied by the rope wants to fantasize that he is totally independent. This fantasy is the origin of arm-chair philosophies.
If we want to be free of the material rope, then we can surrender to the Lord. We will still be bound by a rope, but it will be the rope of love and devotion, rather than a rope of force and burden. If the mule is lazy and disobedient, then the master will beat the mule and drag him by the rope. But if the mule is devoted to the master, then the master can remove the external rope, because there is an invisible internal rope of devotion to the master. When the master removes the rope due to devotion, then the mule can say: I’m free, liberated, emancipated, etc. But that doesn’t mean that the mule can run away wherever he likes. The rope is removed on the condition of devotion to the master. If that devotion doesn’t exist, the rope also exists.
So by analyzing our material state, and the cause of suffering, we can understand the nature of emancipation or liberation. When the material condition is analyzed incorrectly, then false ideas of emancipation can also be created. For example, a scientific mule can think: When I walk, then the master also walks, and when when I stop walking, then the master also stops walking. Due to this correlation between my walking and the master’s walking I will conclude that I am in control of the master. This delusionary conclusion based on limited observation is shattered when the master beats the mule and drags him forcibly. Therefore, the intelligent person asks: If I’m not able to control my life right now, what makes me think that I will be able to control it in the future? But the foolish person simply has a desire to become independent without a viable plan to gain such independence. And such people create philosophies that make their imaginary plans seem viable when they are not.
In summary, there are two kinds of ropes–(a) internal rope and (b) external rope. The internal rope is of love and devotion which voluntarily binds us to the Lord. And the external rope is the physical binding of the disobedient and lazy mule. If we bind ourselves by the internal rope of love and devotion, then the external rope is removed. But we can try hundreds of other ways of freeing ourselves, and it will always be futile. Accordingly, there are only two philosophies in the world. The first is the arrogant philosophy of freedom, independence, self-determination, etc. And the second is that of humility, surrender, and devotion to the Lord. There are many variations within these two broad categories, so infinite variety can be created within each category. But there are only two basic ideas and attitudes.November 15, 2021 at 7:21 pm #13635
So what’s the point of deep sleep? Why does nature need us to sleep? I suppose that the last reality then is to overcome these material barriers and be with the Lord, that we will have overcome the state of deep sleep .
By the way, and God also sleeps? Very curious question!
The fact that we are not in control sounds a lot to me like writings from the Qur’an, where it says that Allah controls absolutely everything and that nothing is beyond his control. Extremely interesting the Koran and the similarity with the Gita, saving distances of times .
Although these things have been used by elites to scare people, they could justify anything with submission, don’t you think? I think that in the end it is a matter of language, self-determination can be understood as that you only create yourself (impossible), but it could also mean that you, by connecting with your source (God), complete yourself and determine yourself, because in the end and after all, the server and the served function as 1 only being in love.November 16, 2021 at 3:55 am #13636Ashish DalelaKeymaster
So what’s the point of deep sleep? Why does nature need us to sleep?
Nature tries to create a balance. Deep sleep is the perfectly balanced state of nature. In Sāñkhya philosophy, nature has three qualities called guna. In the primordial state, they are in perfect balance, and this primordial state of matter is also called the deep sleep state. From this primordial state of perfect balance, the imbalanced state is created. Everything you see in this world is an imbalanced state of three modes, which means that one of the three gunas is dominant while the others are subordinate. There are infinite dominant-subordinate patterns, and these then create an inverted tree-like structure. The world is this inverted tree-like structure.
Imbalance means when one quality exists, then the other qualities do not exist. This is also called duality or the opposition between qualities. For example, when a person is tough, then he is not soft. If he is soft, then he is not tough. So, the tough person is suitable for tough situations, but not for situations that require softness. Likewise, the soft person is good for situations that require softness but not toughness. But when matter goes into the primordial state, then all the qualities are destroyed. So, there is neither toughness nor softness, and you cannot experience anything. Therefore, the observable material state is either-or, and the primordial state is neither. From this primordial state, an imbalanced state is created.
During our waking or dreaming life, we create many imbalances. When these imbalances increase, then the guna transforms into a dosha. In Ayurveda, for example, sickness is due to a dosha or imbalance. This sickness or imbalance can be bodily, mental, intellectual, emotional, etc. And Ayurveda tries to cure this imbalance or sickness. Sleep also does that. So, when we go to sleep, nature tries to create a balance, which means by sleeping well, you can cure many sicknesses. Deep sleep is a state of perfect balance, and by sleeping we also restore that balance. This is why a lot of people are trying to do “meditation”, empty the mind, etc., and effectively go back to sleep because that sleep restores the balance, and it makes them less sick and more healthy, bodily, mentally, intellectually, etc. But when they wake up, again an imbalance is created. So, they want to sleep forever. This is called ‘nothingness’.
However, the perfectly balanced state of the three guna (which is also devoid of all experience) is not considered the supreme transcendental state. The supreme state is that which is both the opposites. That means, for example, that a person is both tough and soft, but he reveals his tough side in tough situations and soft side in situations that need softness. Since he can display both toughness and softness, therefore, you cannot say that he is not soft or not tough. He is both, but depending on the context, he can display one of the two. The perfectly balanced state is devoid of all qualities. There is a profound science of qualities, which you can understand if you study the Vedic texts under the guidance of a devotee of the Lord. Only devotees can explain the difference between the imbalanced state, the balanced state, the devoid of quality state, and the full of all qualities state. Non-devotees don’t understand these differences and they cannot explain them either.
Therefore, there is a difference between the material state in which the person is either soft or tough, the state of ‘nothingness’ in which the person is neither soft nor tough because he is asleep, then another state of ‘being’ in which the person is neither soft nor tough but he is awake without any qualities, and finally a transcendent state in which the person is both soft and tough, and yet, there is no contradiction as he displays softness and toughness based on the situation. So, there are many states of a person–either/or, neither (asleep), neither (awake), and both.
God is always in the ‘both’ state, which means that He can be tough when needed, and He can be soft when needed. He can be everything based on different conditions. This is called non-duality. The perfect soul can also be many opposites, but not all the opposites. So, the perfect soul is also non-dualistic but not to the extent of God. Then, there is a type of not-dualism in which no quality is displayed, but the soul is self-conscious, and yet, not interacting with any other soul. Then, there is a type of not-dualism in which the person is not even self-conscious so he is not interacting with himself, let alone any other soul. And there are many kinds of dualism in which the soul interacts with other souls, but some interactions seem adequate (e.g., when toughness is displayed in a tough situation) while others seem deficient (e.g., when softness is displayed even if toughness is needed).
Non-dualism is different from not-dualism. Not-dualism is ‘neither’ opposite, and non-dualism is ‘both’ opposites. Non-dualism is called advaita, whereas not-dualism is called nirvisesa, or devoid of all qualities. Unfortunately, false interpretations of Vedic texts have equated non-dualism with not-dualism, and advaita has become synonymous with nirvisesa. But they are not synonymous. As noted above, non-dualism is ‘both’ while not-dualism is ‘neither’. Both are beyond the logically opposed states of either/or, so they are in one sense both transcendent. But there are many levels of transcendence, and the ‘both’ state is superior to the ‘neither’ state.
Buddhists achieve the ‘neither’ state of sleep, the impersonalists achieve the ‘neither’ state of self-awareness. Since both are in the ‘neither’ state, therefore, impersonalism is said to be obscured or hidden Buddhism. There is a difference but only those who understand philosophy very well can make out that difference. For others, there is no difference. Then, the devotees of the Lord attain the ‘both’ state. And materialistic people are in the either/or state. This either/or state is always imbalanced. So, to create some balance, nature puts you back to sleep. For most people, sleep is essential. If they don’t sleep, they will become sick. They may go crazy, have a heart attack, and die. But it is not a spiritual state.
Although these things have been used by elites to scare people, they could justify anything with submission, don’t you think?
There are two kinds of submission. First, there is a submission by power and force. Second, there is a submission due to love and devotion. If you cannot make out the difference between the two, then it means that you are only thinking in terms of submission by power and force. That is not what I’m talking about.
I think that in the end it is a matter of language, self-determination can be understood as that you only create yourself (impossible), but it could also mean that you, by connecting with your source (God), complete yourself and determine yourself, because in the end and after all, the server and the served function as 1 only being in love.
The soul is forever incomplete. Complete truth means all the universes, every single living entity, every single atom in the universe. We are an insignificant fragment of this entire existence. You are thinking that I can become ‘complete’ and God is the tool to give you your completeness. But this is what everyone is doing with everyone else. For example, a man in “love” with a woman can say: “You complete me”. That means that his real need is his own completeness, and someone else is the tool to get him completeness. Love means that we have given up our selfishness of desiring completeness. You don’t seem to understand the meaning of love.
The correct term is ‘fulfilled’ rather than ‘complete’. Just like a glass of water can be filled with 250ml of water. But that is not all the water. The ocean has billions of liters of water. In the same way, the soul can be fulfilled with joy and overflowing with happiness. But that is not complete. And yet, it is all the joy and happiness that is possible for a soul. In the present existence, the glass is empty. And we run here and there to fulfill ourselves. Then some people say: If you do this meditation then you will become ‘complete’. They don’t know what complete means. They think that if we fill a glass of water with 250ml of water then that is equal to the ocean.
Religion has been distorted endlessly by such attitudes. Real religion means love of God, and love means that your happiness is my happiness. Unless the attitude of selfishness is completely rejected, the soul is stuck in the material world. Without a change in attitude, philosophy is pointless as all words are misinterpreted.
As I explained above, whatever you call your thinking is a projection on a screen by a projector. It is not your thinking. It is a projection upon your consciousness. The material nature is dragging us like a mule and forcing us to think in certain ways. To get out of that mule state, we have to give up this arrogant desire of “completion”. We will never be complete. But we can serve the complete. By that service, we don’t become complete. We remain incomplete, and forever a servant.
By the way, and God also sleeps? Very curious question!
Yes, God also sleeps. There are two such kinds of sleep. First, God feels sick and tired of the torturous cacophony of this world, and He winds up the creation and rests in order to overcome that sick and tired feeling. This type of sleep is similar to you feeling sick and tired after a long day. Of course, God’s day is 311 trillion years long, as I described earlier. Second, devotees want to please God by making a bed of flowers for Him, and He enjoys lying down on that bed. Then, He is not tired and sick. But He still lies down and pretends to sleep for the pleasure of the devotees.
In the material condition, a person wants to go to sleep for his own pleasure. But in the spiritual condition, a person wants to give the Lord the pleasure of sleeping. Of course, the Lord is not tired in order to need sleep. And yet, He enjoys the fact that someone made a bed for Him. So, to reciprocate that love, He pretends to sleep. In this way, both are tied by love, doing something for the other person’s happiness. And because it makes the other person happy, therefore, it makes the doer also happy. This is the eternal spiritual play and pastime of the Lord with His devotees.
Even when the Lord and His devotees go to sleep, they keep dreaming of each other. How they will play again, dance again, and make each other happy. And when they wake up, they enact these dreams again. So, there is no difference between sleeping and waking. However, there is no deep sleep. Deep sleep exists only in the material world to cure the feeling of tiredness. Even in this world, when a person becomes spiritually advanced, he never sleeps. He just lies down to rest the body, but the senses and the mind are always dreaming or thinking of the Lord. The pure devotees are always thinking of how to please the Lord, how to elevate the souls caught in suffering in this world. Therefore, deep sleep is just a material aberration.November 18, 2021 at 11:10 am #13637
Thank you, you have answered my questions.
My friend’s philosophy is an aberration: nihilism, Vedanta and Christianity … He’s a bit lost.
But I know the lord won’t make us lose, thank you
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